Student Conflict and Peer Mediation in the Multi-ethnic schools of Macedonia
Esch, R.P. van
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The aim of the present research study was determine the difference in student and staff member attitude towards conflict with peers by determining difference in student and staff member conflicts styles between schools in Macedonia where peer mediation training programs were implemented and schools where no training programs were implemented. In addition, differences in conflict style between students and staff members who were trained as part of the peer mediation program and those who were not trained were examined. A sample of 62 staff members (M age = 36) and 263 students (M age = 16) was drawn from five multi ethnic high-schools from municipalities where peer mediation training programs had been implemented, including one control group. Data were collected by means of the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory—II (ROCI-II) (Rahim & Magner, 1995), measuring the five conflict style subscales: integrating, dominating, avoiding, obliging and compromising. The results show that students scored significantly different on the integrating, dominating and avoiding conflict style subscale between schools who had peer mediation training programs implemented and schools who had not. Students who had participated specifically as part of the peer mediation training scored higher on the integrating subscale than students who had not participated. No difference was found on any conflict style subscale between staff members from the different schools, or who had and had not participated in the training program. This implies that students from schools where training is present have adopted a more constructive approach, and posses a more diplomatic attitude, towards conflict with peers. In addition, these students tend to use less forcing methods and address conflict more often instead of avoiding it.